Monday, September 8, 2008

Web 2.0 Tools

I thought for this exercise that I would look at several categories and mention or discuss those which I use, or which caught my eye.

  • Bookmarking: I already use, though mostly as a quick storage for URLs of sites I stumble onto and might want to get back to later
  • Books: The one that really caught my attention is Lulu. I'm a life-long writer who wants to have an audience but is less concerned about making a living from writing. I write stuff which may not have a large enough readership to attract conventional publishers. Lulu might be the way to go...whenever I'm ready to publish more than blog posts. I like their slogan: "Our hope has been to have 1 million users that sell 10 books instead of 10 authors that sell 1 million books."
  • Content Aggregation & Management: I've written elsewhere that I already use EditGrid. Wufoo looks like another tool I will be using.
  • Education: Because Carol Bailey recommended it, I looked into Mángo, trying out the first few slides of the German lessons (since I knew German way back in ancient history). I like what I saw and heard for starters. I will explore this one further.
  • Hosted Wikis: Already use PBWiki.
  • Online Desktop / OS: Gonna have to come back to this. The ideas is appealing, but I'll need more time to explore.
  • Organization: Since I liked Zoho Writer, I'm bookmarking Zoho.
  • Web Dev: I'm curious about Pipes, but I don't have time to explore right now.

The Web Evangelist article is interesting. I'm not so concerned about whether or not online apps replace Microsoft. I'm just glad so many, many people are sharing their apps.

This might be going overboard, but I think this opening out of the Internet, of open source software and of online apps might turn out to be as revolutionary a technological development as the printing press was. Though the corporations are always trying to retain enough control to bring in the revenue they need for the work they do, the free online revolution allows millions of people to "jump the gun" on them.

My reason for the printing press analogy has to do with what happened when people could print relatively inexpensive copies of translations of the Bible from Latin into the various languages of the day (beginning with Luther's German translation). Once that happened, there could no longer be a hierarchy of control over people's exploration of scripture, religious language, belief, etc.

I'm not gaga about all the vast and silly flood of toys. I'm definitely skeptical about the fragmentization and "niche-ization" of society and the marketplace.

Nonetheless, when anyone who is computer and software savvy can invent and share information or apps, what a marvelous leveling of the world that is!


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